Man cut free after four car crash

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Firefighters used hydraulic cutting equipment to rescue a man from a car after a four vehicle collision in West Lothian on Wednesday evening.

The incident took place at around 6:20pm on the southbound carriageway of the A899 near the Almond Junction in Livingston.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) crews reached the scene within three minutes of a call for assistance from the police, with two appliances attending from Livingston along with a third appliance and an incident support vehicle from Bathgate.

Group Manager David Lockhart, the incident commander, said: “The collision involved three cars and a light goods vehicle and left one man trapped inside his car after a significant impact.

“Road rescues are very much team operations requiring the close co-operation of each service and the response is always very casualty focused. Personnel from each of the services worked very closely to pursue a positive outcome for the motorist.

“Firefighters removed the car’s roof and cut the steering wheel to create space for him to be safely extricated on a stretcher, while paramedics provided treatment and police officers ensured the safety of the scene and began their investigations.

“This operation took place in terrible weather conditions – rescuers were working in heavy rain, sleet and cold – but the crews involved demonstrated the utmost professionalism.

“The specialist skills of the firefighters again proved essential to safely releasing a casualty and getting him quickly to a waiting ambulance.

“He was taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary for further treatment and all the emergency responders involved in this operation will wish him a full and fast recovery.”

Throughout the country, SFRS crews are frequently called to the scene of incidents on the roads, where their specialist road rescue and trauma skills save lives.

Officers have urged road users to recognise the risks and take steps to reduce the chance they will be involved in a collision and become a casualty.

Group Manager Lockhart continued: “Firefighters too often see the tragic consequences of things going wrong on the roads. We all need to accept it can happen to us and make responsible decisions to keep ourselves, our passengers and other road users safe.

“Every motorist should ensure their vehicle is properly maintained. We should also be aware of the road and weather conditions and drive appropriately to avoid putting ourselves or others at risk.

“Rain, ice and snow all greatly increase the distance it takes to stop so it’s vital drivers and riders leave big enough gaps to vehicles ahead.

“We should leave ourselves enough time to get where we’re going safely and at a speed that’s both within the limit and appropriate to the weather and surface conditions.”

Police Scotland has appealed for anyone with information on yesterday’s incident to contact officers via the non-emergency number 101.